wayve tech

The latest funding round was led by Eclipse Ventures, a long-time supporter of Wayve

Driverless vehicle company Wayve – which is carrying out autonomous grocery delivery van trials for Ocado and Asda this year – has raised $200m in a funding round.

The round is a significant cash injection for the London-based startup, which had previously raised $58m since it was founded in 2017.

Wayve’s tech – which it calls AV2.0 – combines “a lean, camera-first sensing suite” with an end-to-end deep learning system that continually learns from “petabyte-scale driving data” provided by the company’s partner fleets.

Eclipse Ventures, a long-time supporter of Wayve, led the latest round with participation from new global financial investors including D1 Capital Partners, Baillie Gifford, Moore Strategic Ventures and Linse Capital, as well as additional support from Microsoft and Virgin, and early-stage investors Compound and Balderton Capital.

They join strategic investor Ocado Group and angel investors that include Richard Branson, Rosemary Leith, Linda Levinson, David Richter, Pieter Abbeel and Yann LeCun.

“Wayve is breaking new ground by building AVs that can adapt to driving in new cities, previously unseen in training,” said Eclipse Ventures partner Seth Winterroth. “As the leaders in this field, they have assembled an exceptional team of machine learning experts and AV veterans to drive AV2.0 to reality.”

Asda in September revealed it was working with Wayve to trial autonomous vans that can “navigate complex urban delivery routes in London”.

The trial is due to commence early this year and last for 12 months. The van will be loaded with cameras and computers and drive under its own control, though “under the supervision of a Wayve safety driver throughout”.

In October, Ocado revealed it too was partnering with Wayve on a similar trial and invested £10m in the startup. The company said it was “on a journey” towards offering driverless delivery tech to its retail partners.